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FG opens student loan application portal May 24

Tinubu based his decision on the need for the scheme to accommodate those who may not want to pursue a university education, noting that skill acquisition is as essential as obtaining undergraduate and graduate academic qualifications.

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The Federal Government has announced May 24, 2024, as the official date for opening the portal for student loan applications.

The announcement was made in a statement by the media lead for the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFund), Mr. Nasir Ayantogo.

Ayantogo said the opening of the application portal marked a significant milestone in the commitment of President Bola Tinubu to “fostering accessible and inclusive education for all Nigerian students.”

Persecondnews recalls that Tinubu signed the Access to Higher Education Bill 2023 on June 12, 2023, to enable indigent students to access interest-free loans for their educational pursuits at any Nigerian tertiary institution.

The move was in “fulfillment of one of his campaign promises to liberalize funding for education,” a member of the then Presidential Strategy Team, Dele Alake, said.

The Act, popularly known as the Student Loan Law, also established the Nigerian Education Loan Fund to process all loan requests, grants, disbursements, and recovery.

Despite the government’s initial announcement of launching the scheme in September, several delays resulted in an indefinite postponement in early March.

The President had attributed the delay to Tinubu’s directive to expand the scheme to include loans for vocational skills.

On January 22, following a briefing from the NELFund team under the leadership of Minister of State for Education, Dr. Yusuf Sununu, the President instructed the Fund to provide interest-free loans to Nigerian students who are interested in skill-development programs.

Tinubu based his decision on the need for the scheme to accommodate those who may not want to pursue a university education, noting that skill acquisition is as essential as obtaining undergraduate and graduate academic qualifications.

“This is not an exclusive program. It is catering to all of our young people. Young Nigerians are gifted in different areas.

“This is not only for those who want to be doctors, lawyers, and accountants. It is also for those who aspire to use their skilled and trained hands to build our nation.

“In accordance with this, I have instructed NELFund to explore all opportunities to inculcate skill-development programs because not everybody wants to go through a full university education,” he said.

Through the portal, students can now access loans to pursue their academic aspirations without financial constraints.

The portal, according to the statement, provides a user-friendly interface for students to submit their loan applications conveniently.

“We encourage all eligible students to take advantage of this opportunity to invest in their future and contribute to the growth and development of our nation.

“Students can access the portal at www.nelf.gov.ng to begin their applications,” the statement said.

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